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julius motal dave keenan fair witness Parade, New York City, 2011

Parade, New York City, 2011

All images by Dave Keenan. Used with permission.

Dave Keenan’s re-entry into photography is a story of the natural order of things, rather than rediscovery. In his youth, he got to photograph on occasion with his grandfather’s Leica, which gave an early love for rangefinders. With his father, he built a darkroom where he often spent time developing and printing photos. His photography, however, fell by the wayside as he took up a career in computer engineering, and in the last ten years, he bought a Leica on a whim. His photographic passion, however muted, came back as he started a photo a week project, which gradually turned into his book FAIR WITNESS: Street Photography for the 21st century with the help of veteran photographers like Eli Reed and Elliott Erwitt.

Head on past the break for our interview with David Keenan, and check the Kickstarter campaign for FAIR WITNESS.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Matthew Cetta Flim Color Safe Bleach

Last year we came across photographer Matthew Cetta’s impressive Photogenic Alchemy series. It was a photographic and film-warping series in which the NY-based photographer developed film using a load of unorthodox chemicals including absinthe, coca cola, cough syrup, and Hydrogen Peroxide. While we could only look in awe at the images these modified films could produce, now Cetta has launched a Kickstarter letting photographers shoot with his personally created “Flims,” film that’s been modified.

With Flim (yes it’s really spelled that way), Cetta hopes to bring his modified films to the mass public so they can also experience the randomness and chaotic character of photography that’s been lost in the digital age. “We try so hard to mimic film, spending countless hours in photoshop and millions of dollars in apps,” Cetta writes. “But it never comes out right.”

Flim comes in pre-modified cartridges that users can slap into any 35mm film camera and simply start shooting. Cetta says he only uses normal household chemicals like lemon juice, ammonia, and Drano—so no there’s need to worry about developing film that has been treated with harsh lab chemicals. Other canisters, meanwhile, have been physically modified whether it be boiled, frozen, electrified, or a combination of the three. As we’ve seen previously even leaving out your rolls of film out to bake in the sun can have some dramatic and gorgeous effects.

That all said, Flim comes with a premium price at $50 for a single cartridge, but Cetta promises that’s won’t be the actual price of his modified films. Instead Cetta says the money is going to fund his $10,000 Kickstarter goal, which help him launch a Flim web store and potentially bring modified 120mm roll of film in the future.

Check out more amazing flim results after the break.

Via Kickstarter

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Lomography has set a new $1,000,000 goal for its Lomo’Instant camera, and with three days left to go, there’s only $24,000 more until that goal is met. Lomo set the new goal in order to give all Lomo’Instant backers a closeup lens for this instant wunderkind with its surprising amount of customizable features: various lenses, multiple and long exposures, variable apertures and more.

In the days of instant yore, you were largely limited to the design of the camera–press the shutter and a positive spilled forth. It was a time when you did not shake it like a Polaroid picture because Outkast wasn’t a thing, and shaking it never actually did anything anyway.

Lomography’s carrying on in its own tradition of producing old-style cameras with contemporary sensibilities and off-kilter aesthetics. You’ll never see a Lomo-style camera come off the factory floor from the likes of Canon, Nikon, Sony or Fujifilm, and that shouldn’t happen.

If you digg customization and instant gratification, then head on over to Lomography’s Kickstarter campaign to back the project. If not, carry on. Or you could take a true DIY approach, and get an old instant camera off of eBay, figure out how it works, get it back to working condition, and find the right film.

Of course, the Lomo’Instant is a thing of its own, and is a fairly strong entry into the Lomo multiverse. The only instant offering we’ve reviewed was the instant back for the medium-format Bel-Air. The Lomo’Instant seems to be a new kind of Instant, and when we get one in for review, we’ll let you know how it is.

Peak Design Slide Camera Strap

Peak Design makes some uniquely interesting camera strap accessories that can be easily clipped together and taken off. Now the company is out with a more substantial camera strap called the Slide that can quickly transform from a full sling, to a shoulder strap, and even a neck strap.

Unlike Peak Design’s previous Leash Strap, the Slide comes with a seatbelt-style strap that’s roughly twice the width. What’s more, the Slide features custom hardware inspired by climbing gear with a lever that users can grab to adjust the length of the strap similar to a Chrome bag or Joby’s Ultrafit Slingstrap. Everything is still connected together by Peak Design’s Anchor Link system, which uses nickel-sized coins that snap into place with the Slide’s anchor points. The Anchor links themselves are also strung together using braided Kevlar thread.

Put all together, the Slide strap should be just as strong as Peak Design’s products to hold up a full-frame DSLR with a heavy L lens attached. The wider base on the Slide, meanwhile, looks promising to be a more comfortable experience on our necks and shoulders, which was our chief complaint with the skinny Leash Strap.

In one other addition Peak Design also introduced the Clutch, a quick-adjusting camera hand strap featuring a similar buckle adjustment lever to the Slide.

Currently the camera accessory company is trying to launch both its new products on Kickstarter, which has already blown past its $50,000 goal with more than double the amount of money. Interested buyers can pick up a Clutch for $30, $50 for the Slide strap, or $80 for the dual package containing both items.

Check past the break for more images and a video featuring the Slide camera strap.

Via Kickstarter

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mood shot - lomo'instant

It was only a matter of time until Lomography tried to release their own Instant film camera. And today, they’re announced a Kickstarter for their own brand new Lomo’Instant cam. The camera is the first one to be developed to use Fujifilm Instax Mini pack film and have interchangeable lenses. The company is trying to create a system with a wide angle, portrait (which is actually 35mm), and fisheye lens that seems to be every bit as fabulously plastic as most of their products.

They’re saying that it has full automatic shooting capabilities as well as certain controls such as long exposure shooting capabilities and aperture control. The standard shutter speed is said to be 1/125th; which is a typical flash sync mode. You’ll also be encouraged to shoot with a flash and dampen the flash output accordingly using aperture settings. The camera also has exposure compensation of +/- 2 EV, a motorized film printing system, and a cable release.

From the Kickstarter, the came seems pretty damned affordable.

More details, photos, and the Kickstarter video are after the jump.

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Next Level Co Otto Camera top

GIFs have made a resurgence as of late and while there are smartphone apps to make short clips, Next Thing Co. wants to go one step farther with a GIF camera. Meet the Otto, a hackable, Raspberry Pi-powered camera that takes GIFs natively. It’s a charming little camera that looks like a toy Leica camera and you also record GIFs by popping up the film advance and cranking away at the lever. There is also a shutter button for just taking still images as well.

While the camera might sound a little old school it’s a completely modern take on capturing images. Everything this little snapper takes goes to a Wi-Fi connected smartphone app, which also controls the camera. From the app users can turn up and down the frame rate, chose whether their GIF loops, and add effects by changing modes. These modes can add effects like a distorting Stereo filter, crosshatched Map overlay, or throw on a pair of “deal with it” shades on everyone in the image.

While the built-in effects are substantial, perhaps the best thing about Otto is you can experiment and make their own. Afterwards you can submit them to a “Mode Gallery” for others to try them out.

For even more experimentation, Next Thing Co. has also developed a Arduino-powered “FlashyFlash,” though with a little tinkering photographers could probably connect their professional speed lights and strobes to the camera as well. To show how limitless the Otto is, Next Thing Co. created a GIF where the color saturation is controlled by decibels as a drummer rocks out.

Spec wise the camera isn’t going to wow anyone with its 5MP sensor or 35mm f2 lens. But it is an backside illuminated CMOS sensor, which should help it shoot in the dark, that can record 1080p video at 30fps and capture 2592 x 1944 resolution images. If you want to pick up this GIF shooting image a $199 pledge will net you a Complete Otto camera that will ship this December. Meanwhile $50 more will get you a camera complete with the FlahsyFlash

Via Kickstarter

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